Every month in Middlesbrough, a town in the north east of England with a rapidly growing and vibrant digital sector, local Indie Developers and students come together at the TGDN (Teesside Games Developer Network).
Being a budding games journalist, I attend this monthly event. I get the pleasure of getting to know local Indie games studios, as well as gaining an inside insight into the multiple levels of creating Indie games.
Here I thread the two together, by shining the spotlight on talented studios and the work they have produced.
At the latest TGDN I had the delight of stumbling upon Gang Beasts. I was drawn to a crowd of giggling gamers who watched as players battled it out on a demo station. Soon I was giggling too.
Gang Beasts is a brawling game in which players take control of their own doughy character and fight it out with friend or foe, on a variety of exciting and troublesome stages, such as the roof of a speeding truck or scaffolding. Players can grab, lift and punch enemies and objects alike as they battle it out for victory.
What really makes this game shine is the animation of the characters. They are very simple yet extremely expressive. They are both charming and humorous in the way they move and fight. It is incredibly funny when a character is clinging on to the edge of the stage for dear life or pummeling his doughy fists into a rivals face.
Gang Beasts, is currently in development by small independent game studio, Boneloaf. Three members of the company are brothers, Michael, Jonathan and James Brown, joined by Jason Pugh and Robert Larder.
When discussing Gang Beasts with Boneloaf’s brothers, they happily revealed some insight into their inspiration behind the game: “we would always try to find multiplayer or co-op games to play together and with our sister as children.” Surely a great foundation to build a game upon, many of us will have fond memories of playing games with our siblings and friends.
Boneloaf also revealed intentions to maintain the simplicity within Gang Beasts gameplay as the development process continues, with more work going into creating hilarious and dangerous levels which feature a variety of ways to defeat opponents.
“We are planning to have numerous levels that are thematically linked i.e. variations on a similar game mechanic. For example there will be more factory levels with grinders, vats of liquid to throw beasts in to, and other machinery.
Some of the other places are a theme park (with a Ferris Wheel, Tunnel of Love, Roller Coaster and other rides), the Beef City Park (with a boating lake, children’s playground, Basketball Court), a Shopping Mall (with Arcades, an Atrium with a Glass Elevator and / or Escalators).”
Above is a screenshot of the Gondola level which is a part of the City Plazas sequence of levels.
“The City Plazas sequence is a series of pitched fights across the rooftops of a partially completed Luxury Plaza complex. The current plan is to start the sequence on the rooftops and end at street level.The Plaza levels will involve cranes, destructible walls, collapsing floors, and possibly rubble chutes.”
I’ll be honest, I have found it hard to control my excitement when writing this article. Gang Beasts is a game destined to be loved and played by many. Drawing inspiration from games like Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, combined with the comical cartoon violence of Chuck Jones, I think it is safe to say we are onto an Indie winner.
Support this awesome dough-fist-smashing game and bring it to Steam through their Greenlight campaign! The Greenlight link and links to Pre-Alpha can be found in the about section of the video at the top of the page.